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Russian electronic warfare complicates Ukrainian attacks – ISW

Russian electronic warfare complicates Ukrainian attacks – ISW

According to an Institute for the Study of War (ISW) daily update, Ukrainian forces’ ongoing counteroffensive operations against Russia in Ukraine’s western regions of Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia are encountering roadblocks due to Russia’s sophisticated electronic warfare (EW) capabilities. These operations by Ukrainian forces are being viewed as the initial phase of an overall counteroffensive.

On June 15, Ukrainian General Staff Spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun confirmed successful Ukrainian offensive operations north and northwest of Bakhmut, with gains reported by Ukraine’s Tavrisk Group of Forces Press Center in western Donetsk Oblast. Russian milbloggers, however, reported unsuccessful Ukrainian attacks in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and attributed the resilience of Russian defenses to superior EW capabilities.

These tactics are said to disrupt Ukrainian radio communication and prevent the use of precision-guided munitions, heavily influencing the outcome of confrontations. A prominent Russian milblogger specifically highlighted the use of “Murmansk-BN” EW complexes disrupting Ukrainian aerial reconnaissance equipment and “Krasukha-4” EW complexes suppressing satellite connections within a 300km radius.

Brigadier General Oleksii Hromov from the Ukrainian General Staff detailed the advances of Ukrainian forces in certain areas, including liberating seven settlements. But Advisor to the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Mykhailo Podoliak, clarified on June 15 that the main counteroffensive effort has yet to begin, suggesting these operations to be initial strategic moves.

ISW assesses that despite the initial obstacles, it is premature to predict the outcome of all Ukrainian counteroffensive operations based on early assaults and Russian defensive strategies.

Other key points of the ISW assessment: 

  • Ukrainian forces continued counteroffensive operations in at least three directions and reportedly made gains on June 15.
  • Russian milbloggers continue to credit alleged superior Russian electronic warfare (EW) capabilities and defensive doctrine for Russian forces’ successful defenses against Ukrainian counteroffensive operations in southern Ukraine.
  • Russian forces conducted another series of drone and missile strikes across Ukraine early in the morning of June 15.
  • The Russian military is advancing initial efforts to stand up new corps- and army-level formations to implement Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s announced intent to conduct large-scale force restructuring by 2026, though these new formations are not yet staffed and operational.
  • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov deployed Chechen “Akhmat” special forces to border areas in Belgorod Oblast, likely as part of a continued effort to align himself with the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
  • Western states may provide F-16 fighter aircraft and additional Leopard tanks to Ukraine in the coming months.
  • Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Ukrainian and Russian forces conducted ground attacks near Bakhmut, and Russian forces have gained territory as of June 15.
  • Ukrainian and Russian forces reportedly continued limited ground attacks on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
  • Russian and Ukrainian forces conducted offensive operations in western Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian sources claimed that Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
  • Ukrainian intelligence reported that Russian forces are beginning to decommission specialized company-size assault units and transferring their personnel to volunteer formations.
  • Ukrainian partisans reportedly sabotaged a railway in occupied Melitopol, though ISW has observed no visual confirmation or Russian corroboration of the attack.
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